Monday, 8 November 2010

The Gnarled Tree

The Gnarled Tree

The Gnarled tree grows,
Twisted and rent.

A sprout in the undergrowth,
amongst the weeds and thorns,
torn leaves, a tattered sapling,
bullied by the underbrush.
A tenuous rise in forlorn skies.
Stolen light, from the tall and bright,
the majesty of a family,
born in good earth.

Not a straight limb to be found,
on this dark and perilous ground.
Roots of desperate fingers,
clinging to the rocky outcrop.
Squeezing and fighting,
between the spaces.
The dappled light shines,

No chance to grow,
no right to keep going.
Gnarled and knotted,
in agonized contortions,
a sap laden ascension,
struggling beyond the canopy,
broken and bleeding.
Yet in the struggle,
it has grown strong.
Strong enough to stand the wind,
barking at the tempest,
armour thick and stout,
to endure the licking flame,
whilst all around fall to the fire.

Alone it has survived,
fed by a heartwood soft and supple,
adaptable and triumphant.
In the Spring light, another,
sweet succor for tormented limbs,
Entwined in a flowering glory,
with Seeds born anew.
A living testament to an ancient story.

The gnarled tree grows,
twisted and rent,
its heartwood,
supple and true.

© Richard Michael Parker 2010

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